Assembly takes another hit in Iran

By David Bulla

Once again, freedom of assembly had a long day in Tehran.

This time, former prime minister Mir Hussein Moussavi was not allowed to pray in public for those who died in the unrest immediately after the June election. Moussavi was told to return to his car Thursday.

Officially, Moussavi lost to incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but the opposition chief believes the election was stolen.

On Thursday, the police dispersed crowds reported to be in the thousands at the Grand Mosala and Valiasr Aquare with tear gas and batons. Police also clashed with dissenters at a cemetery where Neda Agha-Soltan is buried. She was shot and killed June 20 during the post-election protests.

The government has outlawed public assemblies for mourning those killed and wounded in those protests.

The heavy-handed constraints on free expression indicate a deep concern on the part of the government for the stability of the political order in Iran, and the state of affairs in that country point to the fact that in the age of globalism a set of universal principles on civil liberties must be recognized by all nations.


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